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At what point is it ok for a renter to break their lease? I…

At what point is it...
At what point is it ok for a renter to break their lease? I have had my landlord enter my apartment while I slept, only to find out weeks later that he was in my apartment while he claimed the tenant below me had an emergency the apartment directly below me has been vacant until recently. The building provides us tenants with the ability to park in a parking lot as long as we are in our designated spot and we pay for it once a year - I have had to call my landlord multiple times due to others parking there and he shrugs it off saying they'll probably be gone by the time he gets here any way yet he is always mailing us letters asking us to not park in the street. I have had the shower break multiple times and have been told that if it breaks again I'm paying for it while the plumber who came and fixed it told me that everything was drywroughted, among this and other fixtures only working some of the time and the fact that the heat still has yet to be turned on for the bathroom or bedroom after almost two years, is there a way out of here?
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
3/24/2018
legalgems
legalgems, attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 14,010
Experience: Just Answer consultant at Self employed
Verified

Good Day!A few minutes please as I review your question so I can provide you with legal information. Thanks!

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I am sorry to hear this; what state is this in please?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Pennsylvania, thanks for helping

Certainly;

so essentially implied in every lease is the implied warranty of quiet use and enjoyment which means the landlord cannot unreasonably interfere with a tenant's occupancy; there is also the implied warranty of habitability -these will be referenced below; I'll post this then continue.

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This discusses quiet use and enjoyment; essentially the landlord cannot disturb the tenant unduly; if the landlord enters without permission and continues to do so that can be considered a breach of this, so that the tenant may deem this a material breach and request the landlord to agree to void the remainder of the lease; if the landlord refuses the tenant may attempt to void the lease on this ground but the burden is on the tenant to prove the landlord entered without authority more than once (the court will determine what is reasonable ) -

one moment please.

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Now the warranty of habitability deals with major issues; basically the tenant must prove:

  1. the defect interferes with the habitability of the rental unit.
  2. The landlord was notified (in writing) of the problem's existence and the tenant requested repairs.
  3. The tenant allowed the landlord reasonable time to repair and
  4. The landlord failed to repair.

The options are to consider it constructive eviction, or to withhold rent. These are extreme and if the court does not find the conditions warranted it the tenant can be liable for legal fees as well as rent for the duration of the lease.

Some cities will have local ordinances and a building inspector that will actually assist with this so one should contact the building inspector to see if that program is available as well.

For further information on this warranty please see:

https://www.palawhelp.org/resource/warranty-of-habitability

That link discusses specific case law along with the requirement of heat in a rental unit.

I hope this helps; it is best to hire an attorney and have them write a letter and seek a release from the landlord as that helps prevent the landlord later claiming the tenant was unfounded in their actions.

legalgems
legalgems, attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 14,010
Experience: Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Ok thank you so much for everything this helped a lot - I found so many different answers prior to coming to the site. Thank you!!
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